The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs) has been ranked as the top African business school for 2012 in the Financial Times yearly Executive Education rankings, says Gibs executive director Jonathan Cook.
The ranking is compiled by using data from two sets of online surveys – one for schools and the other for clients. Business schools are asked for the contact details of several top clients, who are then invited to complete an online survey about the school.
Top Gibs clients that participated in the survey comprise South African corporate companies, as well as multinationals that operate in the rest of Africa and abroad.
“We have worked hard to be the top business school for executive education in Africa,” Cook states.
Gibs creates customised business programmes for companies to ensure it meets their needs and caters to specific challenges and opportunities in the South African environment.
The institute also offers several other learning opportunities, ensuring that executives learn skills applicable to their work situation through projects and simulations.
Gibs’ executive education programmes, particularly its customised programmes, go beyond the classroom, says Cook.
“We aim to produce the kind of business leaders South Africa needs.”
He explains that successful business leaders are able to succeed in the country’s current dynamic market, are able to cope with an unpredictable future, are aware of social and political trends in society and are able to make things happen.
Business leaders also need to be entrepreneurial, as South Africa has a significant job creation need, he adds.
Full-Time General Management
Further, Gibs is offering a full-time gene- ral management (GM) Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme for the 2013 academic season, Cook reveals.
We are adding the programme to our current part-time and modular MBA courses, as there has been demand for a full-time course from South African and foreign students.
The full-time programme can be completed in 15 months, while the duration of the part-time GM MBA programme is two years.
The structure of the Gibs MBA programme allows students to apply their knowledge in their work environment and stay abreast of developments in the ever-changing business world.
Cook notes that the interest in Gibs’ MBA programme is growing every year.
“The reputation of the Gibs MBA is growing steadily and we receive good feedback from the market.”
The programme covers management functions such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources management, strategy, operations management and economics.
It also features a compulsory global module in the second year of study, which is a distinctive element of the Gibs MBA.
The compulsory global module requires students to focus on the unique opportunities and challenges offered by various countries and to gain insight into how their peers operate in diverse markets.
This year, MBA students can choose to visit India, China, Japan, Latin America or the East or West Coasts of the US, Cook notes.
“We also expose students to the South African business context, focusing on issues such as identity, prejudice and race in the workplace and how to manage South Africans.
“With the MBA, we are preparing students to run a company and take profit and loss responsibility for a business,” he explains.
“We try to create well-rounded leaders and the MBA programme is an opportunity for managers to develop their leadership ability.”
Gibs has an MBA intake of 270 students a year – 220 for the part-time courses and 50 for the full-time course.
“We have a very strict selection process and have to turn away more students than we accept.
“The MBA course is academically demanding and rigorous, with a success rate above 80%,” says Cook.
One requirement of the MBA is learning to cope with a large amount of material in limited time, which is a major requirement for general management.
“If it were easy to achieve an MBA, it would tarnish the image of the qualification,” he states.
Applications for the 2013 MBA programme opened in May and will close on November 12.